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First Day Hikers Log Almost 8,000 Miles in Pennsylvania on New Year’s Day

January 04, 2019 12:00 AM

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​Nearly 3,000 hikers (and 134 dogs!) got a jump start on their New Year’s resolutions on Tuesday, exercising and connecting with nature on First Day Hikes at 31 Pennsylvania state parks.

Hikers trekked about 7,755 miles combined…more than three times the length of the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Maine to Georgia.

Pennsylvania state park staff and volunteers guided hikers of all experience levels as part of the First Day Hikes promoted across the country by the National Association of State Park Directors.
Hikers gather at Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center for First Day Hikes.

Joining them at different parks this year were DCNR deputy secretaries John Norbeck, Lauren Imgrund, and Mike Walsh.

“First Day Hikes are intended to introduce visitors to the great experiences they can have in our state parks and on trails throughout Pennsylvania, so that they are inspired to take advantage of these treasures throughout the year,” Norbeck said.

The most well-attended hikes were at:

  • Moraine State Park, Butler County (348 hikers)
  • Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, Berks County (288 hikers)
  • Pine Grove State Park, Cumberland County (245 hikers)

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Hikers head off for their First Day Hike at Pine Grove Furnace State Park.

Don’t feel guilty if you missed your chance on New Year’s Day! With more than 12,000 miles of trails in Pennsylvania, you can find one near or far on the Explore PA Trails website and take a hike this weekend.

Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks are open year-round, are free, and offer many events and programs. Find more information about events at state parks on the DCNR Calendar of Events.

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